Azinphos-methyl is a broad-spectrum, non-systemic insecticide that has been registered for use in Australia for over 40 years. It is used on fruit and nut crops primarily to control codling moth and light brown apple moth. It kills insects by interfering with the activity the enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, in the nervous system.
The active constituent azinphos-methyl, products containing azinphos-methyl and associated labels were placed under review in 1995 because of concerns about its toxicity and associated risks to public health, occupational health and safety (OHS), the environment, residues and trade.
After assessing all the available data, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) published the Preliminary Review Findings report (PRF) for public consultation in 2006. After considering submissions, the APVMA published the Azinphos-methyl Review Findings Report: The reconsideration of the approvals of the active constituent azinphos-methyl, registration of products containing azinphos-methyl and their associated labels in July 2011. At that time the APVMA did not finalise the review because of the regulatory decision to withdraw azinphos-methyl by pesticide regulators in other countries (USA, Canada, New Zealand and Europe) and the possible implications for the Australian review. However, to mitigate the public health, OHS and trade risks identified in the review findings report, the APVMA facilitated label amendments to bring them in line with the review findings.